6 March 2018

South Africa: Land Expropriation - Legislation Was Used to Dispossess Us, Now We Must Use It for Redress


While most people who comment on the land question in South Africa always refer to the Land Act of 1913, when legislation was used to dispossess the majority of black people in the country of their birth, everyone knows that it did not start there.

The history of land dispossession started with the early arrival of European settlers.

It was Jan van Riebeeck who first started building fixed structures at the Cape in order to accommodate the passing ships on their way to the East. The local Khoi and San people, who up to this point graciously had agreed that the settlers could use some of the land for their purposes but never agreed to fixed structures, questioned this and became the first martyrs to fall at the barrel of the gun.

It was followed by all those who mercilessly died in the subsequent frontier wars, which was in its essence about land, let alone freedom of movement of people and cattle. This dispossession continued throughout the Great Trek of the Afrikaners and, of course, with the arrival of major conglomerates, once gold was discovered on the Vaal Reef.

It was after the establishment of the Union of South Africa...

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